Tomorrow is the Fourth of July! Can you believe it? The year is flying by! Before you know it, it’ll be Thanksgiving —and then Christmas!
But let’s get back to the present. More specifically, this cheesecake. A creamy cheesecake sitting on top of a graham-cracker crust topped with blueberries, raspberries, and whipped cream. Oh yeah.
Now I have to admit I had a little mishap with the graham-cracker crust: I went to the store this morning intending to buy the ingredients I needed for the cheesecake. Graham crackers were on the list–until I read the ingredient list on the box. My conscious reminded me of the articles I had read about the ingredients that are legal in the USA but banned in many other countries and the other ingredients found in inorganic foods. I had read those articles the day before, and I couldn’t make myself buy the crackers. So my creative-healthy spirit rose up and I decided to make the graham cracker crumbs–how hard could it be?
The above picture shows how hard it can be. I googled “how to make graham crackers”, looked at a few ingredient lists, and decided I knew enough and I could now make them.
As I mixed the dough I started to realize something was wrong. I seriously considered just throwing away the dough and starting over, but I didn’t want to waste it. Swallowing my fears I dumped the dough in a greased baking pan, pathetically spread it out, and baked it.
After 15 or so minutes I took it out and my heart sank to my stomach. It looked…well, you can see in the pictures how it looked. My hopes and dreams of becoming a cook like Ree Drummond were dashed.
Unsure how it would turn out, I savagely cut the stuff with a knife, dumped it in the blender, turned it on, and hoped it would turn out alright. To my relief it looked kinda like the graham-cracker crumbs I was used to. Feeling daring, I decided I would go through with it and give these crumbs a chance.
I mixed them with some melted butter, pressed them onto the bottom of a pan, and baked them for 10 minutes. The crust seemed fairly normal–the only way to find out was to finish the cheesecake and eat it. It passed the “looks” test and the “taste” test (you may be wondering how I managed to try it when I made it for the Fourth of July and am zealously guarding it from family members and their forks; answer: some crumbs stick to the pan; those are the ones that make it to my taste buds)
Moving on from the crust.The cheesecake itself is very easy to make: mix up the ingredients and bake. Bam. So I won’t spend much (or any) time on that part.
Before decorating the cheesecake with blueberries and fruits, I made a thin glaze from milk and powdered sugar and brushed it on the cake. I did this to help keep the fruits from rolling off the cake.
To decorate the cheesecake like the American Flag, line up your blueberries (not necessarily 50) on the upper-left fourth of the cheesecake.
Then line up your raspberries to make the stripes, leaving space in between each row for the whipped cream.
Pipe the whipped cream between the raspberries
I used a 1M tip to pipe the whipped cream into close-together dots. A straight line of whipped cream would work as well.
Chill for at least an hour before serving up this masterpiece!
Oh, and just so you know, the fingers in the above picture are from my little brother as he was counting how many blueberries there were, which ended up being only 32–not 50, but that’s ok
Fourth of July Cheesecake
To make the graham cracker crust:
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Mix together the crumbs and butter. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of a lightly greased baking pan (9-inch diameter).
- Bake for 10 minutes; then remove from the oven and set aside.
To make the cheesecake:
- Adjust the oven temperature to 350F.
- In a large bowl beat together the sugar, cream cheese, lemon juice and peel with an electric mixer on medium speed.
- Add in the sour cream and mix well. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
- Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until the center is almost set (about 50 minutes.)
- Cool completely.
To make the glaze:
- Mix together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth.
- Once the cheesecake is completely cooled, transfer it to a serving dish.
- Brush the glaze on top and sides of the cheesecake.
- On the upper-left fourth of the cheesecake arrange the blueberries to make the stars of the American flag.
- Line up the raspberries to make the stripes, leaving space in between each row to pipe the whipped cream. Chill for at least 10 minutes.
- Pipe the whipped cream in between the raspberries and chill for at least an hour before serving.